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Ever since Black Star Riders began recording in 2012, they've worked hard to not mark themselves out as simply Thin Lizzy Redux. Of course with legendary guitarist Scott Gorham present along with

Lizzy's touring vocalist, Ricky Warwick on board, similarities were perhaps inevitable – especially with Warwick's vocal redolence. Album four finally sees the band making strides to shake off their roots, but for the first part of the album they play it safe. Tonight The Moonlight Let Me Down is straight out of the Lizzy songbook with its duel guitars, wordplay and even down to the sound of the sax. The title track hints at a heavier sound with a driving Celtic riff and Ain't The End of the World goes full speed Lizzy. Then the album shifts direction and the band start to make this album stand apart from the canon. Standing in the Line of Fire and Poisoned Heart offer some full bloodied rock riffs, Soldier in the Ghetto throws in some unexpected keyboard vamps and Why Do You Love Your Guns slows things down with a powerful political outcry. Lineup changes may partly explain the beefier sound, but this is Black Star Riders striding forward with their own individuality, while giving a welcome nod to the past.

Groupie Rating 3/5

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